Judicial Affairs: Conduct Process

The Conduct Process

The conduct process is not a court of law; its proceedings pertain only to the handling of alleged violations of the UCSB Student Conduct Code. Students who become involved with the criminal or civil court system may also be subject to a hearing through the Conduct Process. The issue of double jeopardy does not apply.

Whether you are involved in the disciplinary process as a charged student, a complainant, a witness, or an advisor, the goal of the office is to treat each person with respect and objectivity. The conduct process responds to incidents involving inappropriate behavior within our community. This process provides educational opportunities that encourage students to evaluate their actions, consider their decision making and acquire skills to improve their choices in the future. When an alleged violation is reported, hearing officers within Residential & Community Living begin the investigation to determine what most likely occurred. In addition, reports may be forwarded to the Dean of Students office resulting in University action. Conduct procedures are implemented according to guidelines established by the Regents of the University of California and adhere to due process.

Behaviors that appear to be violations of policy are documented in an Incident Report and submitted by residential staff or students. Incident Reports are then reviewed and are referred for adjudication. The nature of the violation, as well as any prior violations of policy will determine the type of hearing utilized to adjudicate the incident. In general, building staff conduct an administrative hearing to adjudicate cases that involve first-time violations of policies. Otherwise, incidents will be adjudicated by the Office of Judicial Affairs. 

Types of Hearings

Administrative Hearing

Staff members from Residential & Community Living and the Office of Judicial Affairs hold administrative hearings. Administrative hearings are one-on-one meetings with a staff member and the charged student. These meetings are designed to be educational and provide the student the opportunity to review the information which formed the basis of the charges. The Hearing Officer opens a dialogue with the student by asking questions related to the incident and their account of community standards and University policy. Hearing Officers consider all the information presented and make a determination based on what most likely occurred (preponderance of evidence). If a resident is found responsible, sanctions are issued to complete as part of the resolution. If the student does not appear for the meeting, a decision is made based upon the information available in the incident report and the resident is responsible for any outcomes that follow from the meeting.

Residential Review Board Hearing

Within Residential & Community Living, the Conduct Board is used to adjudicate cases of alleged misconduct for students who have prior disciplinary history or for violations that threaten the safety and well being of the residential community. Hearing Officers are comprised of staff members throughout the university who are committed to providing a safe & welcoming environment in the residential communities. The Conduct Board considers all the information presented and determines what most likely occurred (preponderance of evidence) based on the evidence provided. After deliberating, if the Conduct Board determines that the student is responsible for any violations of policy, the board will recommend sanctions ranging from Probation to Housing Contract Cancellation.

Pre-Hearing Meeting

When a student is referred to a Conduct Board they will meet with a Conduct Officer prior to their hearing. This meeting serves several purposes. First, the Conduct Officers reviews the disciplinary charges with the student and provides the student the opportunity to review the material that support the charges. The student will have the opportunity to accept responsibility for the charges or appear before the Conduct Board to determine responsibility.

  • Students who accept responsibility for the charges can opt to waive thier right to a hearing and instead, have the matter adjudicated administratively with the Conduct Officer.

  • Students who dispute the disciplinary charges will meet with the Conduct Board to determine responsibility. The Conduct Officer will use the pre-hearing meeting to review the hearing process and to answer any questions the student has about the process. 

Students are encouraged to thoroughly read the Student Conduct Code prior to their pre-hearing meeting.

Peer Review Board 

Peer Review Board (PRB) members are comprised of unpaid student volunteers who have an interest in maintaining a positive living environment. Board members are provided extensive training and volunteer to actively participate in the conduct process. With the aid of an advisor, board members are expected to adjudicate cases of student misconduct with objectivity and uphold the residential community standards.

The PRB is active throughout the academic year and meets twice a week. Board members learn the rationale behind residential policies and procedures and develop listening, mediation, critical thinking, and decision-making skills that are applied in the hearings. If you would like to learn more about the Peer Review Board, please email prb@housing.ucsb.edu.

Restorative Justice 

Restorative Justice (RJ) is an alternative resolution method for individuals who accept full responsibility for the violation of policies and community standards. Those responsible for the violation of policy are joined in a circle with those who were harmed by the incident, supporters of both offenders and harmed parties, as well as affected community members. In the RJ circle, all participants develop and sign a contract that contains specific actions to be completed in order to repair the harm that has been done to the community.

Goals of Restorative Justice

Inherent Benefits of Restorative Justice

Process is Healing and Transformative Those affected have a voice in the resolution process
Outcomes are decided by those most affected by the incident Allows participants to focus on the harm that occurred and decide how to best repair it
Reduces the likelihood of future violations Facilitates a conversation between those impacted and those who harmed the community